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Tips for a Happy Holiday for Families, Friends, and Allies

If you are the friend or family member of someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender...


  • Get support for yourself. It is important to realize you are not alone. Find the phone number of the nearest Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) chapter.
  • Take your time. Acceptance may not come instantly, but be honest about your feelings.
  • Don’t be nervous about using the “correct” language. Honesty and openness creates warmth, sincerity and a deeper bond in a relationship. If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask for help.
  • Realize that the situation may be as difficult and awkward for your LGBT loved one as it is for you.


Before the visit...


  • Practice in advance if you are going to be discussing your family member’s sexual 
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    orientation or gender identity with family and friends. If you are comfortable talking about it, your family and friends will probably be more comfortable too.
  • Anticipate potential problems, but do not assume the reactions will always be what you expected.
  • Consult with your LGBT loved one when coordinating sleeping arrangements if he or she is bringing home a partner.
  • If your family member is transgender, practice using the correct pronouns.

During the visit...

  • Treat an LGBT person like you would treat anyone else in your family.
  • Take interest in your family member’s life. He or she is still the same person.
  • Don’t ask your LGBT family member to act a certain way. Let them be their natural selves.
  • If your LGBT family member is bringing a partner, acknowledge him or her as you would any other family member’s partner.
  • If your LGBT family member is bringing a partner, include him or her in your family traditions. Ask your LGBT family member about his or her partner if you know they have one.


Find tips for a happy holiday for LGBT individuals now!